• University of Leeds
  • University of Cape Town logo

The Unbundled University, the Market and Digital Technology

What is the future of universities? Explore current issues affecting higher education with a course featuring brand new research.

1,406 enrolled on this course

illustration representing unbundling higher education
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Discover the phenomenon of unbundling and how it affects higher education

Market forces and technology are changing the landscape of higher education. This course, a unique collaboration between two leading universities, explores one of the key changes in the context of global inequality: the unbundling of higher education.

You will learn about the concept of ‘unbundling’ and how the disaggregation of university degrees into component parts is affected by digital technology. You will explore the marketisation of higher education and investigate the implications of unbundling for not only the sector, but different stakeholder groups.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Neil: We’re looking at the phenomenon of unbundling as it relates to educational provision. That means the disaggregation of university degrees into its component parts.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds So the course will cover the concept of unbundling in huge amounts of detail, which is unprecedented. There’s never been this level of discussion about this concept in the sector. So we think that many people will be really interested to try and understand more about what unbundling is.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds Laura: The focus of this research and of the course is the intersection between unbundling, marketisation and digitisation in a context of global inequality. So all of these new trends are playing out in environments of widening inequality, and that’s our interest.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds Neil: We expect the course to be valuable to a whole range of different stakeholders within the Higher Education sector, and individuals who are associated with the educational sector. We also imagine the course being useful to university managers. So we can see many Higher Education leaders who are interested in this. We hope the course will also be interesting to policymakers, particularly in government and bodies associated with government, because we think there are major policy implications coming out of this research.

Skip to 1 minute and 33 seconds Laura: The research has been conducted through interviews, through focus groups, through surveys, and triangulated and brought together to tell a number of stories.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds Neil: This course is unique in that we are using our research findings within the course – so interactive maps that we’ve created will become part of the course content. We’ve tried to bring in as many voices as possible that we’ve heard from during the research into this course to make it a live representation of the research that we’ve conducted.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds Laura: I’m incredibly excited about this project because it’s about the future of Higher Education and how it’s changing.

What topics will you cover?

  • The language of unbundling as it relates to higher education provision.
  • Digital technology as an enabler or driver of unbundling.
  • The role of the market in higher education.
  • Mapping the Higher Education Terrain: South Africa and England.
  • Unbundling in the higher education sector.
  • Implications of unbundling for stakeholders.
  • Issues and debates about unbundling and rebundling.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage with the language of unbundling as it relates to higher education provision.
  • Evaluate and debate the implications of unbundling of higher education provision for the sector.
  • Explore the role of the market and its impact on higher education provision.
  • Assess the role of digital technology in the process of unbundling of higher education provision.
  • Identify and describe examples of unbundling in different contexts.
  • Identify the key stakeholders impacted by unbundling, and discuss the implications for each stakeholder group.

Who is the course for?

The research presented in this course will be useful to a wide range of stakeholders and senior decision makers within higher education. You might be a university manager, a strategist or head of a teaching and learning unit.

The course is also ideal for policy makers within governments, as the research has implications for education policy, and people interested in the future of higher education.

Who will you learn with?

Dean of Digital Education and Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Leeds. For more information see: https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/education/staff/156/professor-neil-morris

Professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching.
See http://www.cilt.uct.ac.za/cilt/about/laura-czerniewicz

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is one of the leading higher education and research institutions on the African continent and has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected worldwide.

Endorsers and supporters

funded by

ESRC logo

funded by

NRF logo

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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